​Cocheco Academy of The Arts * 40 Hampshire Circle, Dover, NH 03820 * (603) 742-0700​

Instrumental Music: Eric Turner  eturner@cochecoarts.org

​ Mr. Turner is an active performer, composer and music educator. He holds a BME from UNH. His teaching philosophy is that music is best learned when it is experienced in a multi-faceted approach to address various learning styles and to inspire students to pursue learning beyond the classroom. His performance background is diverse; from jazz guitar to playing rock bass, he has found himself in a variety of settings. In 2006, Duty Free, a group that Eric has been playing with since 2001, was selected as the Jillian’s Franchise National Battle of The Bands winner and was awarded an opening slot at AmsterJam 2006 which featured headliner’s: Tom Petty and The Foo Fighters.  Duty Free continues to perform at local venues.  In his free time Eric enjoys being active, supporting local bands and artists, and is an avid fan of the New England Patriots. 

Administrative Assistant: Kelly Baker kbaker@cochecoarts.org

Kelly is the wizard behind the curtain in our office. While she thinks she's able to leap tall buildings in a single bound she can not it is simply the caffeine talking. She is the person students speak too when they are late, want to go home, can't remember which class they are supposed to be in or have lost their water bottle or shoes. Kelly worked for the American Red Cross NH/VT Region in External Communications and was the former Executive Director of ALS Maine Collaborative. She has worked for local performing arts venues since moving to the seacoast in 1997 as well as Historic New England giving house tours at various locations throughout the Piscataqua Region. Kelly attended Merrimack Valley College and Fayetteville Technical College.
When not at school Kelly enjoys traveling to warm locations, kayaking, reading non-fiction, creating art, taking photos and following Bruce Springsteen around the globe.


Science: Alison Hannan  ahannan@cochecoarts.org

Alison is a graduate of UNH with a degree in geology and a minor in physics. She has worked as a geophysicist, and a software developer. Alison was the 2007 recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Symposium for Independent Student Research. She is a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and is beginning to teach private piano lessons. She lives in Eliot, Maine with her husband and two dogs.



Vocal Music: Kathy Fink  kfink@cochecoarts.org

Kathy Fink was one of the members of the original design team that created our school. She taught in CATA's early years, and after taking time away for other opportunities, Kathy returned to teach vocal music. She is well known in the seacoast area for her work in music and theater. She resides in Dover with her husband.

MSW Intern: Jenna Tewksbury


Mathematics: Peggy Ciotti  pciotti@cochecoarts.org​

Peggy Ciotti is entering her 4th year as the mathematics instructor at CATA. She is also entering her 21th year as an educator. She resides in Dover with her husband, also an educator, and their daughter.

Director: James M. Friel, M.Ed.  jfriel@cochecoarts.org

James is entering his 33nd year in education and his 5th year as the Director of CATA. He is a musician, an artist, and a lifelong learner. He is the father of two sons and became a grandfather for the 1st time in May. He resides in Dover with his wife, Dr. Sonya Shropshire-Friel.

Theatre: Kelli Connors kconnors@cochecoarts.org

Kelli is a 36 year veteran of regional and professional theatre as both a performer and a director/choreographer.  As a performer she holds the distinction of having performed the title role of "Evita" in 5 regional theatre productions.  An award winning director,Kelli has gained distinction at the Rochester Opera House, bringing them their first Spotlight Award for her direction of “Annie” in 2013.  She has received special recognition from Kids Free To Grow, the child abuse protection agency for York County, for her award winning child abuse prevention show. 

Guidance Director: Matthew Azzaro, M.Ed.   mazzaro@cochecoarts.org​

​​Mr. Azzaro believes that a school should provide students with a secure and caring environment, one that allows a person to be valued for their intrinsic qualities. He enjoys He enjoys working in a school that focuses on artistic expression in the academic environment. Throughout his life, Mr. Azzaro has always been immersed in the arts. In his spare time, he is active as a basketball coach and a sneaker connoisseur.


ADMINISTRATION & FACULTY



​Business Administrator: Brenda McCartney  ​bmccartney@cochecoarts.org

Since joining the CATA community in the fall of 2008, Brenda McCartney has worn many hats.  Starting as an enthusiastic CATA parent, she joined the board in March 2009 to replace CATA's departing Treasurer.  She remained in that role through August 2013 (and the graduations of both her daughters from CATA), when she left the board to become CATA's business manager.

​Brenda loves music, history and road trips and has logged many miles with her ever-patient husband to concerts and historic sites all over the eastern US.  She also enjoys reading and is a fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.  She lives with her husband, two kids, two cats and a dog in Epping, NH.




Social Studies: Thomas Keith  tkeith@cochecoarts.org

​Mr. Keith has been with CATA since we opened in January, 2005. He holds Master's degree in education from Franklin Pierce University and is a strong proponent of experiential, student-centric learning. His philosophy is that learning is a collaborative effort and the teacher must be willing to learn from the students if the students are going to learn from the teacher. In other areas of life, Mr. Keith is a musician who performs regularly in the Seacoast area, and co-founder of Avant Coast, a New England artists' collective. Additionally, Mr. Keith is a die-hard Boston sports fan.

Miss Tewksbury is a graduate of Wheaton College, receiving her Bachelor's Degree in Studio Art. While attending Wheaton College, she was a member and the Captain of the Wheaton College Women's Lacrosse Team. Miss Tewksbury is currently working towards a Masters in Social Work at the University of New Hampshire. Her interests include photography, mindfulness, music, dogs, and the outdoors. We are happy to welcome Miss Tewksbury to our school!

Art: Mrs. Marisa Companion  mcompanion@cochecoarts.org

​Marisa Companion has been involved in art education for the past four years with various age groups.  She is a working artist whose art addresses rites of passage into womanhood, nature of mothering, surviving as an independent business worker, small town Americana, and the meaning of neighborhood. Marisa earned her Bachelors of Fine Art from Massachusetts College of Art and Design in 2007 and Masters of Fine Art from California Institute of the Arts in 2010. Marisa’s recent work has been exhibited at the Hallspace in Boston, MA, Soho20 Gallery in New York, and Grand Central Market in Los Angeles, CA.  Her teaching philosophy emphasizes empowering youth to reach untapped potential through creating art work. She believes in the importance of taking risks in art and not being afraid to make a mistake in order to grow as a person and artist.

English/Art: Brittany Treichel  btreichel@cochecoarts.org

Miss Treichel has had a lifelong love of both English and the arts, apparent in her love of graphic novels, comics, and use of art and pop culture in the classroom. She attended Plymouth State University where she graduated with a BA in English education and an art minor. 
Miss Treichel enjoys the balance between the technical and expressive sides of English, challenging her students to be proficient, analytic essay writers and enthralling story tellers and poets. By understanding basic concepts behind English, students can begin to develop their own voice and successfully use language to their advantage in any situation. Students will hone these skills through practice and reflection in a classroom centered on cooperative learning. When she’s not teaching, Ms. Treichel can be found trying to improve her drawing skills, making and enjoying bad puns, keeping up with her sports teams, and finding new comics to read.

English: Kristen Lotz, M.Ed.  klotz@cochecoarts.org

Mrs. Lotz has studied at Catholic University of America, UNH, The Washington Montessori Institute, and Loyola College in Baltimore, where she earned her MEd.  She has taught music to three year olds and English to high school seniors and everywhere in between.  For the last 10 years she has been homeschooling.  Mrs. Lotz was on the CATA design team and served on the board of directors for several years as secretary and then vice-chair.  She knits while she watches t.v., bakes when her kitchen is clean, and sings while she does the dishes. She is so happy to be back at CATA.